Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Great in 8 Challenge

One of my visiting teachers sent me an e-mail earlier this week with the title A little wellness challenge? I started reading it, thinking it would be a cute "drink at least 1 liter of water a day for two weeks" or "take a multivitamin every day for a month" kind of thing. Um, no. It's intense. Well, it's not THAT intense, but it's intense to a girl who considers pasta, chocolate, and butter to be vital parts of existence! Here are the details...

Feeling Great in 8 - A simple point-based plan of healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle resulting in possible weight loss and probable gain of healthy habits for both body and spirit

How to earn points
-Good foods: 1 point for each good food eaten, up to 10 points a day
-Fruits and veggies: 10 points for eating a total of 5 fruits and vegetables a day (all or nothing, also counts towards "good foods")
-Drinking water: 5 points for drinking at least 48 ounces, 10 points for drinking at least 64 ounces (all or nothing)
-No nighttime snacking: 5 points for not eating anything after 8pm (can still drink water though)
-Exercise (can be at whatever level, can be split up throughout the day, 20 points max)
*15-30 minutes is 10 points
*31-45 minutes is 15 points
*46+ minutes is 20 points
-Personal prayer: 5 points for daily morning and evening personal prayer (2 points if just one or the other)
-Daily scripture study (scriptures, Conference talks, Sunday lesson prep, etc., 20 points max)
*15-30 minutes is 10 points
*31-45 minutes is 15 points
*46+ minutes is 20 points
-Weekly task: 10 points for successfully completing a task or two assigned at the beginning of each week

How to lose points
-Bad foods: Subtract 2 points for every serving of bad food eaten, no max

Good foods
-Greens (any and all)
-Olive oil
-String cheese/low-fat cheese
-Fruits (any and all)
-Vegetables (any and all)
-High fiber, whole grain, low sugar cereal (Mini Wheats, Cheerios, Kashi, Wheat Chex, etc.)
-Oatmeal (not instant unless plain, can add a touch of syrup, honey, agave, etc.)
-100% whole grains (bread, pasta, rice, etc. NO EXCEPTIONS)
-Low fat yogurt
-Tuna (packed in water)
-Lean beef
-Low fat, low sodium lunch meat
-Light mayo
-Light sour cream
-Cottage cheese
-Air popped or low fat microwave popcorn
-Low sodium soup
-Daily multivitamin
-Nuts, not sugared or sweetened

Bad foods
-Sugary, low fiber cereal
-White anything (bread, pasta, rice, etc.)
-Fried foods (anything!)
-Bakery items (cake, pie, donuts, etc.)
-Soda (diet included!)
-Drinks with sugar (Gatorade, SOBE, etc.)
-Regular mayo
-Regular sour cream
-Ice cream
-Potato chips (any and all)
-Chocolate (even dark)
-High sugar, high carb bars with more than 15 grams of carbs (granola bars, NutriGrain bars, etc.)
-Hot dogs, processed meat (fish sticks, chicken nuggets, etc.)
-Regular lunch meat

I like this system because it's not rigid and there's so much more to it than what you eat. You get points for eating right, exercising, praying, studying scriptures, and drinking water. You lose points for eating foods that you are better off without. That's it. It's not about calories or portion sizes, it's about making good choices that will lead to good habits.

My plan is to post every week with a breakdown of meals, workouts, costs, etc. I'll track my weight and take pictures of the food we actually eat. Maybe I'll make an awesome workout playlist and post that too. I'm documenting all of this so I can hold myself accountable week after week, because otherwise I won't last three days.

We're having friends over to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, so we're hoping to get rid of some of the more tempting treats before we get down to business on Monday!

I'm nervous, but I'm excited. Wish me luck!


PS: If you have any good recipes, send them my way!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Infertility Adventures: IUI #1

This is my story about trying to make a baby. If bodies or infertility or words like intrauterine make you uncomfortable or bum you out, then you can skip this one.

After seven unsuccessful rounds of Clomid, it was time to bring out the big guns - Intrauterine Insemination, aka IUI. The first step was finding a fertility doctor. I'm just going to take a minute and say that working at a hospital is super convenient! Need a surgical consult? I can practically watch the TV in the waiting area from my desk. Need an ECG? Down the hall and around the corner. Need to see a reproductive endocrinologist? Take the elevator up two floors. I don't have to go outside or drive anywhere or anything! Anyway, I checked out Froedtert's reproductive medicine clinic and narrowed down the choices to two doctors, then let Daniel have the final say. At this point, I don't care about gender or nationality or hair color or shoe size, I just want a baby! Daniel's pick (and my secret pick) was Dr. Paul Robb, so we made an appointment for December 20.

December was my first cycle off of Clomid in ages. On Clomid, my cycles started on the 16th of every month (August 16, September 16, October 16, etc.), it was kind of freaky. December 20 was already a few days past my expected cycle start date, so I had no idea what to expect. At the appointment, Dr. Robb took a really thorough reproductive history and then told us what we already knew: We have unexplained infertility. He walked us through the IUI process (medication, timing, etc.) and told us to call him when I started my period so we could get going. Since we were leaving for the cruise that weekend, I figured my first IUI would be sometime in January because the timing wasn't going to work for this cycle. I mentioned it to the nurse on the way out and she made a note that I would follow up in early January.

December 20 was also Milwaukee's big (and hopefully only!) snowpocalypse, so after work I dug my car out of the snow and went home to do some laundry before our trip. Stephen and Meliah were driving down from Kaukauna and Jeff and Kendra's flight from Chicago was cancelled but they were renting a car to drive up. Daniel and I called around and made hotel reservations for everyone, than ate a quick dinner and kept packing. I starting feeling weird and crampy while folding laundry, and wouldn't you know, Aunt Flo had come for a visit. I usually start overnight or early morning, so 7pm was a bit of a shock, but I realized I could start the Letrozole and do a couple blood tests that Dr. Robb wanted. This was happening! It was definitely a tender mercy. Unfortunately, the first 48 hours of my period are pretty bad, so I wasn't really able to fully enjoy my visit with Daniel's family. Midol and chocolate can only do so much!

I took the Letrozole for a few days, went on an amazing cruise, and then went in for my first ultrasound on January 2. Dr. Robb brought in a resident and explained everything during the ultrasound, which was cool for Daniel too. Apparently Dr. Robb didn't know Daniel was a med student because while explaining that the black blob on the screen was actually a follicle, he turned to Daniel and said That's where the eggs grow. I didn't hear him say it and I'm glad I didn't because I probably would've laughed out loud and then the whole thing would've been awkward. Long story short, my follicles weren't ready yet, so I made another appointment to come back and have them checked out on Saturday, a few days later. The next time around I was good to go, so the nurse gave me a shot to trigger ovulation. We went in at 8am on Sunday for collection, went to sacrament meeting, and then went back for the actual insemination at 10am. Because of the timing, I had to find someone to cover my nursery responsibilities. Facebook pleading and texting didn't help, so I cornered the Bishop's wife and asked her. Looking back, I probably would've mentioned that I was going in for a procedure so I could have a baby instead of making it look like I was just trying to cut out of church early. But I digress.

After my appointment, I stayed on the couch all afternoon. Daniel did such a good job of taking care of me! I napped and watched some football and by 8pm I was going crazy. I folded some laundry and made lunch for the next day and it felt really good to move around!

Waiting wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. I knew exactly when stuff happened and when I'd most likely get a positive test. Some days were longer than others, but I was able to stay busy most of the time. Thanks to my friends for keeping me occupied!

Dr. Robb told me start testing 14 days after the insemination. I tested 13 and 15 days after and then my period came on day 16 (what is it with the number 16 and my cycles?!). Not gonna lie, it was rough. We asked our family and friends to fast and pray for us and I felt like I let them down. I felt like I let Daniel down. I felt like Heavenly Father let me down. It was a lot to take in at 6am. I used all the hot water and took a really long shower. I cried. I prayed. I cried some more. I worked through a lot of emotions. I told Daniel. I told my mom. I told Janey. And then I went to work. I called Dr. Robb's office and round 2 has started. I'm down, but I'm not out. Keep praying and thinking happy thoughts for us, we need all we can get right now.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Yes, I haven't blogged in over a month. Yes, I have lots to catch up on. But something amazing happened today...

My beloved Burt's Bees lip balm had been missing for almost a week. I'd been getting by, but I missed that little yellow tube. I was digging around in my bag earlier and I found it in a random compartment! I don't know how it got there, but I don't even care.

It's the little things.